The names of the choreographers - George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky - suggested classicism of a high and distinctive order, and, by the time the bill ended two hours later after an ultra-vivacious world premiere, prognosis had become reality.
The San Francisco Ballet hit its stride Friday evening at the War Memorial Opera House as it presented a feast of winning choreography and remarkable dancing - the most satisfying program so far in this 2013 repertory season.
A related review from The Examiner:
San Francisco Ballet’s Program Four is perfect for those who think they don’t like ballet.
Works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky make a lively mixed bill; Wheeldon’s “Within the Golden Hour” fired up the house enough to get an unusual standing ovation mid-program on Friday’s opening at the War Memorial Opera House.
The New York Times
Mr. Morris, although basically a modern-dance man, has worked intermittently with leading ballet companies for over 25 years; usually he pushes against ballet’s grain in some way, usefully working against orthodox conceptions of structure, hierarchy and gender. Since 1994 he has established a long and fertile relationship with San Francisco Ballet, providing eight creations. “Beaux” — set to boldly textured music, written in 1935 by Bohuslav Martinu and featuring harpsichord — is among the very few works in ballet that acknowledge the ways men exist in today’s world.